Because I was inverted…

Most of you know the scene from the movie “Top Gun“, where Lt. Mawerick explains a manouver with an enemy MIG-29: Because I was inverted… 😀

Top Gun: Because I was inverted…

Well, recently I’ve done my Upset Prevention and Recovery Training (UPRT), which made me feel a bit like a “Top Gun Pilot”…

The UPRT is mandatory from December 2019 and is a requirement in order to obtain the first type rating on a multipilot airplane. Be my guest; there in no other profession in the world, where you need to stay current (and healthy) at all times, and to maintain the currency you need to keep spending a lot of money…

Even though the things are pretty messy (and of course not only in the world of aviation), but generally, despite this I’ve decided to go through the training.

Before this course I’ve only once experienced how it feels like to fly “upside down” during a looping in a ultralight plane when I wasn’t even a pilot yet. So it’s been a loong time ago…

Because I was inverted…

On a recommendation by a friend of mine I’ve travelled to Merzbrück, Germany (EDKA), to do my course at the Westflug.

Freshly asphalted runway 07/25 at EDKA, Merzbrück

It consisted of 1 day theory and 4 flights of 45 minutes divided in 2 days. During the theory session we have discussed a lot of important topics from human factors, how our body reacts to different kind of manouvers, and a have refreshed airplane general knowledge as well. Our instructor Rob really surprised me with his technical and physics knowledges, and I cosider him one of the best instructors I’ve ever had. So even the day in the class was not boring at all.

The practical part should be more fun they said…. Well yes, it was, but after pulling the G’s for 30-35 minutes you are simply exhausted… And don’t mention the stomach… That’s why there is a pause of couple of hour, so the body can recover before the next flight.

Extra 330LX
Extra 330LX

For the training they use the Extra 330LX, 2 years old, which is a kind of plane you can find in the Red Bull competitions. 🙂

Extra 330LX cockpit

The instrumentation is very simple; altimeter and airspeed indicator (and my legs lol). The instructor sits behind me, and his panel consists of more instruments, including the acceleromenter to measure the G-forces.

Extra 330 LX
Extra 330 LX

Extra 330LX is a german two seat low wing aerobatic monoplane with a taildragger landing gear, powered by a a Lycoming 6-cylinder with more than 300hp, which made my feel to fly a rocket rather than a GA plane I was used to… 🙂

Over Altdorf, over training site

Unfortunately all my images were spoiled by the stupid mask. It is everything but comfortable flying like this and on the top of that all the images look a bit weird… But there were other choice, we had to comply with the regulations…

The idea was to learn how it feels to recover from the manouvers with +3G’s; but I’ve pulled up to +4.5G’s. While flying inverted, -1G was experienced.

At least here no mask can be seen…
On our first flight we’ve landed at Bonn/Hangelar airport

There we are a lot’s of “for the first time” during this training:

  1. My very first D- registrated airplane in my logbook
  2. My very first time at controls in Germany
  3. My very first acrobatics flight
  4. First flight in a taildragger
  5. First spin recovery
  6. First time flying inverted
  7. My very first stall flying inverted
  8. Experienced first time +4.5G’s and -1G
  9. And much mucho more… 😀

And of course my GoPro was on board with me; here comes a short resume of my UPRT training.

I’d definitely like to repeat this experience and just to have more fun (as far as the stomach this allows) :-D.

Safe flights!

Fuerteventura’s old “Airport Los Estancos”

This time from the ground and not from the air… 😀

Not many know about the old (former) airport of Fuerteventura situated at Los Estancos, not far away from the capital city of the island Puerto del Rosario.

Fuerteventura's old Airport Los Estancos
Fuerteventura’s old Airport Los Estancos, Terminal Building

I’ve done some research on Google, but there is not much information to be found, and actually nor are there many signs of the old airport left, except this old terminal. This was the second airport on the island, after La Tefía (which I’ll need to search on my next visit :-D) and it was in service between the years 1951 and 1969.

Fuerteventura's old Airport Los Estancos
Fuerteventura’s old Airport Los Estancos, Terminal Building

The runway 03/21 was 1.350m long.

Fuerteventura's old Airport Los Estancos
Fuerteventura’s old Airport Los Estancos, The Runway

This aerodrome was replaced by the new airport situated at El Matoral, which is still in service.

Iberia’s DC-3 Douglas at Los Estancos.
Foto: Colección ABG / Vicente Barbero García

I have the impression, that this 2.200km2 big island has many aerodromes we do not know much about. The Jandía strip, another one situated not far away from this one as well, El Jarde, La Tefía, etc…

Aerial views of Fuerteventura

This is my 4th compilation of aerial images of flying around the Canary Islands; in this post I’ll share with you some images of Fuerteventura.

Fuerteventura is the second largest of the Canary Islands.

If you have missed my previous compilations, you can see them here: Tenerife, La Gomera and La Palma.

Hope you’ll enjoy the views as I did enjoyed them when flying around Fuerteventura!

Stay safe and safe landings!

Aerial views of La Palma

This is my third compilation of aerial images of flying around the Canary Islands; in this post I’ll share with you some images of La Palma. If you have missed my previous compilations, you can see them here: Tenerife and La Gomera.

Hope you’ll enjoy the views as I did enjoyed them when flying around La Palma!

Stay safe and safe landings!

 

If you wish to fly around the island in 2:48, watch this video:

Around La Palma in 2:48 minutes

Around La Palma in 2:48 minutes

 

Aerial views of La Gomera

Second compilation of my aerial images is coming from the island La Gomera.

Enjoy them!

Aerial views of Tenerife

Nothing more, nothing less… Just to though to fetch together a couple of images of Tenerife… Well, exactly 24 :-).  Hope you’ll like them!

 

Got my MCC certificate

MCC stands for multiple crew cooperation. This additional training is required to fly in a multipilot aircraft with crew consisting of at least 2 members.

And as the initial idea is to fly a plane consisting of 2 pilots, I had to go through this training as well… So let’s get back to school.

Starting my MCC course at GTA Madrid

Starting my MCC course at GTA Madrid

I did my training at Global Aviation Training in Madrid, and my colleague and me, we were very satisfied with the high level of the training. Our instructors were highly experienced and active pilots with more than 15 years of flying experience.

In total we spent 10 days at GTA; 5 days of theoretical classes and 5 days simulator sessions in the ATR72-500. During the first 5 days we learned a lot about the ATR72-500 systems and procedures, and started to learn to work not as a single pilot, but in a team of two.

At the beginning a bit challenging, because we faced a new plane, procedures and new way of dividing tasks as a team, but it was improving with the time.

This is where it all started... ATR72-500 cockpit mock-up

This is where it all started… ATR72-500 cockpit mock-up

Finally, after 5 days of classes, there was this “magical” moment of getting into “the pleasure room” that we were so much looking for. For the most pilots are these “dancing boxes” a real headache, because they stand there not for having fun in them, but to prove that everything that can go wrong, will go wrong, and you will have to face it.

The pleasure room

The pleasure room

And this one was ours… ATR72-500 (Pitty that it wouldn’t fix in my garage lol)

ATR72-500 FFS at GTA Madrid

ATR72-500 FFS at GTA Madrid

The cockpit is identical with a real plane:

500 FFS

One of the highlights was a simulation of an emergency descent after a cabin decompression, using oxygen masks. I have to say, something I haven’t done before; and definitely very interesting.

After an emergency descent drill...

After an emergency descent drill…

After 10 days of hard work and studying, we are done! 😀

MCC Course done!

MCC Course done!

In the free time, we have also visited the other 2 simulators; which are new and have a far better visual graphics (however it doesn’ matter, because most of the time we were flying in IMC conditions with no views…). In addition to the FFS ATR72-600 and Boeing 737NG, there is another FNPT II simulator of an Airbus A320. Of course, I had to capture these moments:

And it was a pitty that it didn’t work out to try the slide of the A320. Maybe for the next time!

Safe landings! 😀

Emergency slide A320

Emergency slide A320

Got my commercial pilot licence

I had to wait 3 years to write this post! 

It was not easy, but it was worth it! Lots of of late nights, early mornings, lots of stress and no social life… But I’ve managed to reach my personal goal and proved myself that anything you can imagine is possible. 

Now I can call myself a commercial pilot! 👨🏻‍✈️💪🏼

Many thanks to all of you and the whole universe for all the support and to help me to achieve this! 👨🏻‍✈️😊🙌🍀

I’m very happy and thankful for this moment! 😊

 

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My first Ferry Flight Part 2

If you haven’t read the first part, you can read it here.

So the journey continues. Reaching some 3.000 feet I’ve turned on the autopilot and became (what I was learning about) a “pilot monitoring”. Monitoring the Garmin 1000, which is absolutely great. At the beginning it looked so complicated to me as I was used to fly the old steam gauges PA28 and now on every flight I’m discovering more and more about this fantastic tool. And if 2 screens are not enough, you can mount as me the Ipad as well. I had all my Jeppesen charts on it and also as mentioned the Foreflight app just to double check that we were on track :-D.

Views shortly after take off from Jerez de La Frontera

Views shortly after take off from Jerez de La Frontera

First leg took us in total 3:40 hours; flying IFR route. Good visibility and weather made us company down to Essaouira, where it was a bit windy (surface wind 010/26 G30), so landing on a RWY34 we had 13kts crosswind from the right.

Here are some imagines from the first leg of the journey:

 

It’s difficult to chose from so many images I’ve made on this trip. The staff at the airport was very friendly, we have ordered something to eat and also delicious moroccan tea!

The good news was that there is free Wifi available at Essaouira Airport :-D.

Free Wifi at Essaouira airport

Free Wifi at Essaouira airport

Our late lunch:

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2019-06-10 16-40-22

After a quick “pit stop”, emptying our “tanks” after almost 4 hours, refueling the plane, filing a new flight plan, paying the taxes (around 15€), we were ready to go as number too. It could have taken less, but just after us a Transavia’s 737 landed and was serviced first. So we had to wait again… 😀

Transavia's Boeing 737

Transavia’s Boeing 737

The fuel track is finally here!!!

The fuel track is finally here!!!

Ready to go

Ready to go

Next almost 2 hours were just above the sea. Sometimes when you think it’s a strange feeling if you see on the Garmin that the nearest airport is either 100NM ahead of behind you…

Somewhere between Essaouira and the Canaries

Above Lanzarote

Above Lanzarote

Canaries were covered by clouds. Later we were flying more into sunset.

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2019-06-10 19-50-33

Reaching Gran Canaria at sunset

Reaching Gran Canaria at sunset

Reaching Gran Canaria at sunset

Reaching Gran Canaria at sunset

After flight the approach for RWY 03L we were welcomed by the usual “northwind” (360/20G30).

Fighting some crosswind on final RWY 03L into Gran Canaria (W 360/20 G30)

Fighting some crosswind on final RWY 03L into Gran Canaria (W 360/20 G30)

Mission completed

Mission completed

Mission completed. Happy with the experience and with the flight. Could take off again for another ferry flight! Searching a ferry pilot anyone? 😀

My First Ferry Flight Part 1.

Earlier this week I was lucky to ferry my schools plane (Diamond DA40, reg. EC-MHQ) from Spain’s mainland down to Gran Canaria.
Something that has been on my “To-Do List” for a long time: to fly a plane from the mainland Spain to the Canaries (the other way up would be great as well) and was able to brake some of my personal records:
I flew 800NM just in one day and logged 7 hours of flight!

With our technical stop in Essaouira, for me this was the 3rd time to visit Morocco and the african continent; and the 3rd visit by a plane and flown by myself.

Here is the story. To not to make it too long, I’ll split in 2.

We have arrived on Sunday at Jerez de la Frontera, and we had practically the whole afternoon available to do “something”. So we went to see Moto GP at Circuito de Jerez. I’m not a huge fan of motorcycles, but the circuit is famous, so if we are there, why not to experience it?

Moto GP Jerez 2019

Moto GP Jerez 2019

After Moto GP was finished, we went to Jerez de la Frontera city, walked a bit around and ate something. Most of the bars and restaurants were closed on Sunday; maybe we should have went to the beach instead :-).

But the City is nice anyway…

Plaza del CaballoJerez de la Frontera

Plaza del Caballo Jerez de la Frontera

In the evening we have visited Gibraltar, I simply had to cross the runway be feet.

Gibraltar

 

About to cross the RWY at Gibraltar airport

About to cross the RWY at Gibraltar airport

Gibraltar airport

Gibraltar airport at sunset

On Monday morning we were ready to start the adventure. Well, at least for me it was the first time to do such a long flight and I was really looking forward to it…

The route was divided in 2 legs; Jerez de la Frontera – Essaouira and
Essaouira – Gran Canaria.

1st leg LEJR-GMMI2nd leg GMMI-GCLP

Recently I’ve purchased a new app for navigation called Foreflight; I’m still discovering all its functionalities but it was a great help with the planning of the route.

Literally by selecting the departure and arrival airport I was able to get the IFR route for our flight with the complete briefing (MET, TAF, NOTAM, METEO, WINDS, etc…). Of course I did my planning in advance and printed all the necessary Jeppesen charts needed for the route.

Foreflight’s taxi diagram helps to improve the situational awarness on the ground, specially on an airport you have visited for the very first time and makes taxying much easier. I was really nicely surprised how it worked.
Now back again to our trip.
Actually I’ve learned, that a ferry flight is a mission. A mission to get the plane from A to B. First there is the planning and the expectations, and on the other side there is the reality (with its complications)…
You expect to depart at 10am, but actually you depart 2 hours later… Waiting for refueling, paperwork issues, troubleshooting, etc etc. I can imagine that the “ferry flying” is a lot of action and asks a lot of flexibility, creativity and pacience. But it’s also fun, when the mission was a success.
So let’s begin.
Our plane was stored in a hangar, so the expectation was to find a clean and shiny plane, but not surprisingly the reality was different; there were a lot of birds inside the hangar, so our plane literally looked like a piece of s**t…

Our plane was full of bird s**t...

Our plane was full of bird s**t…

We got the plane out and had to wash the wings, canopy and windshield before starting the journey. On the other side I was happy to have a clean windshield… 😀

And the plane is clean again...

And the plane is clean again…

Then we needed to refuel… After waiting a little bit, finally the fuel track appeared on our place. Happy! He takes the fuel cap off, starts (almost) to pump the fuel and then suddenly receives a call from his office to not to refuel… Despite of asking him to wait, to call the office, and ask what’s wrong, he says: I’m gone… And he was gone…

Seems there was some misunderstanding in the office and they were not sure how to charge the fuel so they just called him and cancelled on this strange manner the refueling process.

Phoned the office and cleared the misunderstanding. After the phone call, 10 minutes later the fuel track appeared again… Lucky enough it didn’t take too long. And this time filling our wing tanks with JET-A1.

Ready? Nooo… As we have planned a technical stop in Morocco, which means that we were about to leave the European Community, we had to get out of the airport again, get a handling company and pass the passport control to be able to depart.
In the meantime, we were also asked to do some modifications in our flight plane (to put our names in it), which I was able to do on my Ipad. Called the operations, got the confirmation of the changes and was looking forward to meet our handling agent (Iberia). They have prepared all the necessary paperwork for us (for around 13€) and we were ready to pass the security control.
Again one step closer. But there was still one more thing pending: the customs… They were expecting us earlier at the check point, but as we didn’t arrive, they were gone… So we had to find them back first, and wait again.After passing the control we were finally able to get into handling agent’s car which brought us finally to the plane.

Waiting for the customs

Waiting for the customs

Now we are ready to go!

Now we are ready to go!

Preflight done, jumped in, got the taxi authorization and let’s go…

Reading the checklist

Taxying and reading the checklist

Holding short of RWY 02

Holding short of RWY 02

After the departure, we were cleared to fly direct to VJF and the finally the journey had began.

Proceding to Vejer (VJF VOR)

Proceding to Vejer (VJF VOR)

In the second part I’ll share some images from the flight.